Audi has committed to continuing in the DTM for the 2019 season, but the Ingolstadt marque has put a prerequisite on its continued participation in 2020, demanding that a third manufacturer entry joins the series.
Audi has been a mainstay in the DTM since returning as a full works entry in 2004, but there had been questions marks over the future involvement of the brand and also BMW following the announcement that Mercedes-Benz was to withdraw at the end of the current season.
Now Audi has reaffirmed its commitment – but only for one season, with an extension to 2020 contingent on another brand joining Audi and BMW.
It comes despite the DTM’s switch to four-cylinder turbo engines next year, dubbed ‘Class One’, in conjunction with Japanese Super GT series.
“We continue to further develop our internal combustion engines,” said Peter Mertens, Member of the Board of Management in the Technical Development. “Four-cylinder turbo units with two litres of displacement provide a good mix of performance and efficiency.
“They are the most important engines worldwide and will be used in Class One starting in 2019. As a result, the DTM – just like Formula E – will receive an increased reference to production development.”
Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass says he has faith in DTM boss Gerhard Berger in enticing a new marque into the series. Gass will also oversee Audi’s continued involvement in the all-electric Formula E series.
“I’m convinced that we’re well positioned with our two commitments,” said Gass. “On winning the teams’ championship in Formula E immediately in our first year, we proved our expertise in e-mobility. Obviously, we intend to live up to this success and prevail against the numerous new competitors.
“In the DTM, thanks to forward-thinking technologies like the new turbo engines, we continue to see major potential.
“Concerning the third manufacturer this will require, I have great confidence in DTM boss Gerhard Berger bringing this competitor to the grid for 2020 at the latest.”